Critiquing Community Engagement
10.1177/0893318909352247 Universities increasingly cast themselves as engaged institutions committed to building collaborative relationships with community-based stakeholders. Although promoted in terms of empowerment, community engagement can reproduce or accentuate problematic social relations. This qualitative case study of a campusâcommunity partnership provides a critical analysis of community engagement. The data reveal how the ambiguities of âcommunity,â including the politics associated with defining and representing local groups, complicate these initiatives. The analysis extends existing conceptualizations of community and community engagement by (a) illustrating how a campus/community divide serves as a rich source of critique and (b) demonstrating the need to reshape community engagement around a critical understanding of community and community representation. In addition to these contributions, this study provides a set of guidelines for future community engagement efforts.